Following reports of difficulty getting an appointment with the MVC for a learner’s permits and written tests,  a state senator wants the MVC to make all services available at all branches.

Pre-pandemic, any MVC service was offered at any branch. All branches were closed at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 but reopened to long lines and customers waiting outside branches all night.

The MVC made more services available online, designated branches as either licensing centers or vehicle centers and went to an appointment-only system. The lack of appointments for first-time driver services that must be done in person is the latest problem for the MVC.

Customers line up in the rain at the MVC office in Freehold (Dennis Symons, MidJersey.news)

State Sen. Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, believes the answer is to go back to the old system.

“I am hopeful that the increased availability of vaccines and the reopening of our schools for in-person learning will lead to a more stabilized workforce,” Singleton said in a written statement. “Therefore, I strongly urge the NJ MVC to consider reopening its agencies for all transactions.”

MVC spokesman William Connolly told New Jersey 101.5 the agency has no comment on Singleton's suggestion.

MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said last September that the assignments could be a permanent change.

Fulton at the time told New Jersey 101.5 that the new system was making the branches more efficient with better numbers and faster transactions. She said the branches would stay as is until the of the pandemic.

Fulton, however, will be leaving the MVC to become assistant secretary of defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, so the ultimate decision lies with a successor who has not been named.

When Gov. Phil Murphy was asked on Wednesday about the appointment problem, MVC  Fulton texted an answer to the governor about a pilot program at Passaic County Community College being tried on Saturday that could lead to hundreds of new appointment slots being available.

Connolly said that only those already with an appointment should come to the college's auditorium where the test will be administered using laptops. Those who pass the test can then have their permits validated via the MVC Mobile Unit that will be providing support on campus.

Previous reporting by Michael Symons was used in this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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